Christmas in November, 2014

Right, so I don’t want to freak you out, but at the exact time of writing this article there are only 47 days remaining until Christmas. Don’t panic…

christmas preparation november 2014

Here’s a quick update of what I’ve been up to, followed by some ideas you might like to help you spread the cost and get prepared without ending up broke (even if you haven’t done anything so far).

Preparations chez Golightly

You might remember that right back in April I pledged to save £25 per month for the following eight months. I’ve happily been able to stick with this and have met all my targets, so now there’s £200 in the kitty for me to spend on the festivities. Putting aside a small monthly amount like £25 turned out to be pretty simple and painless, and it’s also earned a little interest, even if interest rates are a bit rubbish currently (in other words, inflation hasn’t eroded too much of the capital).

That means I’ve been able to start buying one or two small gifts, and I’m able to look at one or two event tickets as well. I’ve also commissioned a special gift from Etsy, so it’s something unique. Nice to be able to help an individual seller as well.

Meanwhile, my rhubarb-infused vodka has been strained, filtered and bottled, and set aside in a dark cupboard for the flavour to improve. I’m going to mix half of it with a light vanilla syrup to make a rhubarb and custard liqueur, which will be kept in the fridge to serve chilled after meals. The rest is going into cocktails.

I saved up all my 50p pieces that I was given in change throughout the year, and that came to £28.50 in the end. This was my Christmas dress fund, so I could treat myself to something nice to wear. When the piggy bank was finally emptied, it turned out to be enough for two nice dresses from eBay: one high end one that had only been worn once (tight, black, short, a bit racy) and a second one that was new with tags still attached (lovely shade of purple, a bit more demure, can be dressed up or down).

Cinderella is totally going to the ball this year. Do feel free to invite me to all your Christmas parties, launches and PR events.

General prep in November

  • Make Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings in advance
  • Make chutneys and other preserves (remember they may need time to mature)
  • Get sewing, knitting, printing, carving, painting etc for non-edible home made gifts
  • Design and make Christmas cards / ecards / gift tags
  • Find deals on decorations and wrapping paper
  • Put in orders for things like turkeys
  • Buy frozen foods, tinned goods, and dried / packet foods
  • Look out for offers on wines (especially wine clubs) and spirits (supermarkets)
  • Make a rough plan of menus, guest lists and your social calendar

And if you haven’t done it already, make sure you put the word out to avoid ‘Giftmageddon’: tell people you’re having a cheap Christmas this year so that any expensive gift giving doesn’t get too out of hand, and people’s expectations are managed in an honest and upfront way.

Have you done any preparation yet? Might be a good time to get started, so you at least have the benefit of spreading the cost over a couple of months.

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  1. My prep so far: Fruits of the forest gin & vodka in the cupboard under the stairs maturing. Hopefully there’l b enuf left over from “take round 2 people’s houses when visiting” kinda gifts 4 the family 2 njoy. All the Santa stuff 4 r 1yr old was accumulated over the course of the year. He’s not gettin much – a toy car garage, some books & clothes. A crafting work colleague is custom makin sum gifts & I’m makin edible gifts a bit closer 2 the time. Hubby & I both want tablets so the Tesco vouchers saved throughout the year will b doubled-up 2 pay 4 those. Fingers x’d that shud b me all sorted!

  2. Hi Alli – you’ve been busy all year with this so it looks like all the hard work is paying off. Are you going to get a Hudl2 (the Tesco own-brand tablet)? I reviewed that a few weeks ago and was very impressed, and it also comes with a book of vouchers etc that are handy.

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